Thanksgiving Message 2019

You should know I’ll give you a Thanksgiving holiday run down tomorrow after I have a full day with my family. Until then I want to take the time to simply be grateful!

I get that often times we make Thanksgiving too cliche but at the end of the day being about gratefulness is not an issue no matter how the day is titled! I would rather wake up in continued daily gratitude over negativity any day!! I’m grateful for being on this Earth and having the opportunity to be there for my family. A little known fact is that I am the Mom who loves to dote on her family. I love making memories with them. Nothing means more to me more than them.

I’m grateful for the ability to do what I love. Blogging is a passion. Blogging is an outlet. Blogging is about stretching out and being vulnerable. Being a lifestyle blogger, I find for me talking about events only doesn’t cut. I am always making sure I mention the vulnerability of what life brings. Not just the good but the difficult challenges that someone thinks they are alone in when in reality we are all connected. We all have felt rejected, upset, down, and less than our perfect self. These are the moment I include. Life isn’t packaged in a bow it can be messy, awkward, and dissatisfying.

I’m grateful for the loved ones who past on in my family that I even had a few moments with them. I want to send love to my family as this is the first year without our Aunt Teenie!

I’m grateful for all of you who rock with me. It’s not something I take for granted at all!

Spend some time today being clear on your why!!! What are you grateful for? What brings you joy? Who is apart of that smile you wear? What makes you flourish? Be grateful for that and continue the walk of becoming better versions of yourself!

Monday Motivation: Thanksgiving Edition

It’s that time of the year! It’s time to carve literal time to be with family and friends. Depending on what your plans look like will determine if you are in a high level of stress or not.

Pace Yourself

If you’re planning a big dinner make sure you plan out your meal ahead of time even if that means you are doing it today. It’s not when you start it’s about being clear about what you need and when you need it. Do not allow stress to take over. Take each stride as slow as possible. This means simply making a list and dividing and conquering. You could grab what you need first which would be your must haves and then slowly decide if your optional items are really necessary. Sometimes what we feel we have to have isn’t something as necessary.

Delegate

It’s okay to delegate. It’s okay to outsource your help. Sometimes we don’t have to do it all! We don’t have to make it hard. Sometimes simply giving someone the reins will aid your self-care. You don’t have to be everywhere and at every second. If you have someone willing to bring a dish or two allow them. If someone is able to do the dishes, let them! If you want to scratch the whole cooking idea; let someone else cook. Go to a friends or even a restaurant.

Remember what Matters Most

Even in all of the busyness of the day and the week you have to take the time to know what matters. What matters isn’t prefect dishes but it’s about making memories. So look beyond a few issues as they pop up. I think about all of the people who would love to be in your shoes. Not just those who have transitioned but the living who don’t have someone in their lives in any capacity or those who feel broken. They don’t care about whether or not the rolls were forgotten or not. They just want to be around people who genuinely make them feel special and loved.

Realignment

It’s no better time to realign with matters to you most. It’s a matter of resifting your desires and how to make it all come together!!

My desire is that you go into this week with a sense of calm as you truck along your to do list. I hope you enjoy your meals should you choose to have one. I hope that things are well within your life. It’s one thing to have a smile on your face that you force but to have genuine joy is what I pray for each and everyone of you!

This Monday let’s take charge of the real!! Let’s take charge of our self care during this week of being thankful in the form of a formal dinner. I say that because we can be grateful in many forms it’s just the time to do so over a meal. A meal is always something that brings people closer.

Non Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s nothing wrong with going against the grain! Making the holidays what you want it to be is really special if you ask me. There’s no rule that says you just have turkey, you just dress up, etc!

You can dress your day up or down as much as you like. When we first had our oldest we were super traditional. We tried to split the holidays. We dressed in super traditional clothes, we watched the Thanksgiving Day parades, etc. We have kept a lot of the traditions from our childhood and merged them together. Fast forward to today and I can tell you we have love in the center of us but we make it whatever we would like it to be and on our own terms.

When you don’t like to keep in line with traditions here are some amazing ways to change the perspective:

Friendsgiving

You can do this in a numbers of ways. Over the weekend my friends and I did a Friendsgiving brunch. This was a way to come together, brunch, and connect! I’ve seen some that incorporate non Thanksgiving Food. You can do a themed dinner or luncheon. I’ve seen where people bring leftovers and put a spin on it. This gives you a way to get rid of your leftovers and spend valuable time with your friends!

Themed Dinner

Yes turkey might not be your thing. You could always opt for something else besides ham or a turkey. There’s always a themed dinner. A themed dinner takes the whole Thanksgiving day dinner to another level. As long as you’re thankful it shouldn’t matter what you have on your actual plate. So eat to your desire. You could always mix both traditional with non traditional too.

Thanksgiving Mixes

This is when you take a traditional dish and flip it. Like a switch up on the day. I’ve had some amazing meals that I wouldn’t have known existed by eating some mixes. For example a sweet potato soufflé. It’s amazing and something my family wouldn’t traditionally have. The spin is still Thanksgiving but has a different level to it.

Thanksgiving Brunch

So a few people I know are having a brunch that day and then spending the rest of the day drinking and Ubering to shop and having a dinner out later in the day! It’s genius and with less clean up. I would only caution if you make this option to secure reservations early. Especially if you want a nice sit down meal. There are a lot of options here in Philadelphia. If you follow me on Facebook I have and will continue to highlight some amazing restaurants that have great options!

So again make the holiday as big or as as small as you would like. Focus on what you want to see happen for the day. Don’t compare yourself to others. There are people fighting major to stay connected with themselves let alone others.

Alone on Thanksgiving

This is a lonely time of the year. From missing loved ones who have passed, to failed plans, to even having no plans at all, from here on out its especially important to check in on friends and family. For Thanksgiving it can be very triggering for some who are alone. By alone that could mean without companionship, newly divorced or that could mean simply no family or friends to spend it with.

Holidays bring out the best and the worse in feelings. Those feelings surrounding the holidays really can feel overwhelming. Some people tend to be short, angry, or even depressed. Also understand that simply telling someone that they SHOULD get pass how they feel, is insensitive. Grant it feeling alone doesn’t mean that someone can be mean to others but that doesn’t dispute that an outside person can dictate how someone should feel.

You Have Me…..

I love when I see people reach out to others to let them know that they are there for others. That’s a beautiful thing! We need more people speaking that to others. However keep in mind that may not be enough. That might not make the one who has deep rooted pain overcome. I find it interesting the amount of folks super offended by not being received by the ones who are in hurt or pain. Be there for someone and don’t do it to gain a response. Do it because you are sincere. Eventually the person possibly could be receptive.

It’s never the same

Some people can’t get over that the holidays have changed. Certain smells of the holiday or lack thereof can trigger deep feelings! If you miss your mom for example a favorite meal duplicated by someone else can be hard to deal with. It triggers the loss of not having her there to make it for you. It may never be the same. It won’t feel the same. It won’t taste the same. The holidays could be forever changed.

Not wanting to Participate

It’s perfectly okay to decide that due to the lack of immense joyful feelings, you may want to sit out this Thanksgiving. Some people change how they celebrate or if they celebrate at all. I know some who don’t cook. They do to the movies or purposely eat non traditional food to have it feel differently for them. That’s perfectly okay. The year we loss my mother in law; we went to dinner with family but it was after we had our own dinner for breakfast, put our tree up, and went to the movies! We changed traditions! Should you take food over to someone who may not want to participate? I would say ask. Ask if that would be okay. Also not only ask don’t stay too long. If you get the green light to bring food don’t turn it into a stay over and chat moment. Do a quick drop off.

Be a Friend

Thanksgiving should be whatever you make it. For those who are feeling lonely one of the things that bothers them is not having the traditional family to spend it with. If you are alone but aren’t open to new environments I would open up your horizon. You might find a new joy to hanging out with friends. Again it’s not that you have to but you could find being open to a new way of seeing how holidays can be is key. One thing I love about friends which is different from family is that you get a choice. You have a choice in who you make friends with! Friendsgiving is not a new term. It’s how some replace the traditional ideals of the day.

I wish no one to spend the day alone. Eating alone is good when you desire it but when you want companionship or family around and can’t or don’t it’s heartbreaking. I would hope that you have someone you can connect with. I hope you can find ways to turn the day around or if you want that quiet that the day is all that you wish it to be. Nothing is worse than being in this world and feeling completely alone. I send peace ahead of this super social season!!!!

Monday Motivation: Short Week We Got This

So let’s be grateful! We have a short week for most of us. I know there are many who don’t and I sympathize with you. This week for many who have a short can find it to be super trying, so be vigilant.

Thanksgiving is going down this week whether we like it or not. So with that being said, take things in stride. I have been encouraging that with each Thanksgiving post. Not everyone comes from a solid family structure. This can be the most loneliness time of the year. This is the signal that the weeks are going to fly into the New Year. It’s important that you keep this in mind as you meet up with family and friends. Keep your wits about you when you are confronted with difficult family. Do what’s best for you!

Also the kids are home! Thank goodness you will have some leftovers to feed them! Make some activities for them to do. Have them spend time with family. Take them to the movies. Find activities for them to do. Do not let them break you. I have 3 kids and with the days off I got so much planned for them. I love spending time with them! This short week I will get my fill of their time!!

If you’re off make that time well spent. Find an activity that you enjoy. Serve others. Go through your clothes and find things you don’t need anymore that could bless someone who is less fortunate. Spend time with your family away from social media and find ways to be active!! Spend time doing some awesome me time things too. I hate when you walk back in the office and people say they did nothing and they actually wanted to do things but didn’t. Come back from a few days off refreshed!!

Also deadlines are going to be the name of the game. Have you ever noticed that when it’s a short week work seems to get longer?! Ugh right?! Use the time to get things in line and push through! You got this? We got this! Let’s enjoy what we can of this Thanksgiving week! Enjoy!!

What I love about Thanksgiving

This is not a drill. We are exactly one week away. I can’t wait. I love to eat. I love Thanksgiving for a few reasons. A lot of them has to do with how people act. It’s like the one time of the year for the most part that others around you lay their issues down. Now I know some folks turn up and like to ruin the day, but the folks and family I am around these last few years especially come together and celebrate what it’s all about.

We generally have no rules for Thanksgiving. We usually go to our uncle’s house where he graciously does all the cooking. I usually still cook my own meal at home too. Got to have more food for later in the week. Nothing is better than Thanksgiving food days later. We also started a new tradition where we go to the movies the day off too. I love it because it’s not crowded and we can see what’s coming out for the rest of the holiday season too. Also its about coming together and relaxing and enjoying one another’s companies. It’s a time to catch up before Christmas comes. I love it. I love to sip my wine pretty much all day. Thanks to my husband for being that designated driver because by end of the night we always end with a final glass together. It’s our way to tell each other how thankful we are for what we have. Its our own couple’s tradition. We  have a lot to be grateful for.

I love the traditional food. You know turkey, mac and cheese, greens, etc. However the only thing I don’t like is the struggle plates folks want to post. We all eating generally the same thing. No one’s plate looks great. It is a plate with every piece of food that could fit on plate number 1. I don’t post my plates and try my best to scroll past the other plates that day. I love how happy everyone is. I love how people give the best hugs that they must have been saving all year because hugs just feel warmer this day. I love watching my kids interact with family and how happy they are.  I love seeing my grandpa do his yearly dance and all of the kids try to teach him the newest and latest moves. I record it every year. I know eventually it will be a memory that we will hold on to. I love calling my family and hearing about what they are doing. We generally stay in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving so I call the Lancaster family or FaceTime them .  It’s always good to check on them and to see how much potato salad my mom made. I love talking to my friends and checking in on them. We have one set of friends this year who will be parents. So baby watch is in full effect. I love waking up to the smells of the kitchen.  The only thing about the holidays that we miss is my Mother in Law, Deborah, my great grand parents, Beverly and Olivia Sims, and my maternal grandfather Fred McGinnis. I always wake up and remember them on these big holidays. I wonder what they would be doing if they were. I know their memory will live on.

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I hope that as you prepare for the holiday of Thanksgiving that you remember what it’s about. That you take in the moments that you can. That you remember how grateful you should be on that day and everyday. I hope that you will have a great Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. I hope that it’s not ruined by anyone. If you know you are bound to cause issues don’t go to someone else’s home starting stuff. Stay home. Thanksgiving isn’t the arena to air out differences. It’s a time to come together. Go to those you need to make it right with, and do it before the dinner. Don’t come to the dinner table ready to start the mess that could have been worked out before the day. Work it out or find another home by which you can have a good time. Drama and holidays don’t have to mix. Also to some of my friends who I know the holidays trigger you, you don’t have to be the one to start issues to not go to a function that will further trigger you. I would rather you do a Friendsgiving than a family one if the family one is going to make you all kinds of upset. I don’t spend my time holidays or not around folks that I feel I can’t get along with. Life is too short to spend it with miserable people.

Also I know some deal with anxiety of getting together with others. I would try to take someone with you if you can. Also if there is a family member you get along with more, stay around them until you get comfortable. Especially if you haven’t seen others in quite some time. Be prepared for the 3rd degree. Those family members that’s asking others a thousand questions, leave folks alone. It’s no ones business why they aint married or have kids yet, worry about your own mate and kids. These types of situations make it hard for some folks to be around your nosey behind. Eat your turkey in peace and leave other folks lives alone.

Let folks come and enjoy their time together. That is what I love, the coming together without the issues. Eat and have a good time-sharing your gratefulness!

Keep your Thanksgiving Wits

So this is the last weekend before Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that the grocery stores will be super crowded. So take your patience with you as you travel out. Between stores and traffic it will be a testing time.

Prepare for the holidays with more than what you will eat. Think about who you will invite and if you can find it in your heart to give towards others who may not be as fortunate. Think about ways you and your family can assist others either by donating food to food banks, volunteering to serve meals to others on Thanksgiving morning, or finding a family to sponsor. Either way let’s open our hearts to one another.

Another way to get ready for the holidays when going to the grocery store is to go with a list. I would attempt to get all that you need and treat it as if it was the day. This will help you to make those trips and you may find it may take more than one.  You will always need extra milk, eggs, and butter. So stack up early. I for one know that I need to get the list going so I don’t forget the key items. Thanksgiving eve is not the time to go to the store. All of the last-minute folks will be on super edge. Avoid them if you can.

chicken close up dish food

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Also think if you are doing a fancy seating chart, how you want things decorated and who will sit where. Also don’t forget about the kids. It’s best to have activities to keep the littles occupied.  This will save from the necessary meltdowns. If you are having dinner at a specific time and you know you are the late type person, have appetizers for others to enjoy while they wait. It’s super annoying to go to someone’s house, arrive on time, and they still making key dishes and they have ZERO snacks. Think about your guest and have good appetizers as well as great drinks.  Trust me you will be the hostess with the mostest if you have the necessary food in place.

If you can’t cook let me stress this isn’t the time to train. You should have been practicing all year-long but not today. Today is the day you stick to the things you do well. Maybe that means you should bring the wine.  Either way don’t be out here telling folks you got a speciality dish and your food ain’t hitting. I don’t know about you but the way my family is set up, you getting clowned. Stick to what you know and stick to the basics. If you have kids also bring them extra activities. Not all host will keep your children entertained although they should if they invited guests with kids. Even with our kids being a little older, we come prepared with extra outfits, entertainment, and we have a code word if we think things are getting out of hand. We have a code word between my husband and I for everywhere that we go. We use this word if one of us is ready to go or something is happening that is too much. This has been our saving grace.

If you go to someone’s home bring something. I always try to bring something. Like the times we go to my mom’s house. I bring a dessert, something. I have 5 folks in my home. There’s no way I am coming to someone’s home squad deep with nothing in my hand. Unless the person insists, bring a dish. Or even bring a bottle to share. That is always a gift. If the person of whom you are going doesn’t drink, make a non alcoholic drink that is festive to share. There are ways around no alcohol. Get on Pintrest, online, anything and make it special.

bowl of red round fruits

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Think about what you are going to wear. Some people wing it and that is fine, but if you want to be dressed up, make sure you have your outfit together. My uncle doesn’t require fancy attire so unless I get the kids Thanksgiving shirts, I just stick to being comfortable.  If your gathering is requiring more formal affair, be cute and comfy. Do not over do it and especially with kids. They are going to get dirty. They are going to play. They do not ever care about dressed and dress shoes. So go into the situation knowing that and always bring a back up outfit for them so when the pictures are done being taken you can move along and enjoy your day!

Above all be grateful for what you have. Think about the day and what it is all about. More than prepping food, it is about making sure that you spend it with those you love. It’s about being grateful for all advancements that we have. It’s about sitting around the table enjoying one another’s company. So enjoy as you prepare it doesn’t have to be filled with stress! Don’t forget to call your loved ones who couldn’t be with you on the day as well and tell them you love them!